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IMAX is getting into virtual reality in a big way

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IMAX is all about the BIG.

The clue is somewhat in the name: maximum screen, maximum image, maximum sound, you know the drill. But for the company's latest experiment, they're going SMALL. About the size of your face.

The big-screen entertainment group will start rolling out virtual reality experiences to "multiplexes, malls and other commercial destinations" around the world later this year, offering viewers the chance to watch new VR films and play video games. 

Earlier this month, Google announced a partnership with IMAX to create a cinema-quality VR camera in an effort to provide 'premium content' for the new medium: VR is still largely in its infancy when it comes to offering cinema-filling content, owed in part to a lack of camera equipment to woo the wider Hollywood film making community with.

While IMAX awaits the fruits of this Google cam, it will offer video and game experience with the help of Swedish developer Starbreeze, creators of the impressive StarVR headset, with a 210-degree full peripheral field of view. One of the games on offer will be the company's episodic action title based on the Keanu Reeves' flick John Wick

"Virtual reality in the home is going to be a crowded space," said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond, "but we thought the idea of doing VR in the multiplex of the future was a place where we can provide a superior experience and a social experience, which are the same reasons people go to movies."

Six IMAX VR centres will launch by the end of the year, but the only confirmed locations so far are Los Angeles and China (we've no idea where, it's a pretty big place). 

Will you be queuing up for a VR experience in a multiplex? Let us know your thoughts below.

(Image: Rex Features)

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